Nicholls released that it will be among several universities to participate in the 16th Bayou Sales Challenge of 2019 which is an amazing opportunity for students in the southern U.S. to show and fine-tune their professional sales skills. Among the participating schools are Florida State University, Louisiana State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, Southern University, University of Louisiana-Lafayette and Xavier University. 44 individual students will compete in high-pressure sales simulations in Nicholls’ state-of-the-art Sales and Interactive Training Lab built in 2003 with a generous donation from Northwestern Mutual. That Fall, the very first Bayou Sales Challenge was held.
Once the top two students of the competition emerge, they will progress and face off head-to-head. There will also be a Team Selling challenge, a career expo and two discussion panels: one from professional salespeople and the other from judges and customers.
The Team Selling Challenge is a new addition to the event this year. Two teammates will enter the room together to sell something to the customer. This round of competition is only 15 minutes long but allows for a lot of creativity. The team who scores the highest total combined points wins.
Some of the skills and attributes that will be evaluated are:
- Product Knowledge
- Strategic PRospecting Skills
- Rapport Building
- Buyer/Seller Agreement
- Active Listening
- Qualification Questioning
- Time Management
- Objection Prevention
- Demo Skills
“The Bayou Sales Challenge provides students with an experience that instills in them the confidence that they can compete in the marketplace,” said Dr. Laura Valenti, director of the Bayou Sales Challenge and assistant professor of marketing. “The competition also gives students an opportunity to network with top businesses.”
The event is very Shark Tank-esque and is great practice and exposure for future business men and women. As on the award-winning reality show Shark Tank, the sharks often find weaknesses and faults in an entrepreneur’s concept, product, or business model, yet some of the investors try to soften the impact of rejection. Unlike the show though, this is a safe place to learn and grow as young business people without the fear of loss of investment or risking business assets.
The Director of the event, Laura Lott Valenti, released the following letter regarding the event:
Dear Students, Coaches, Sponsors, and Volunteers,
Over the last eleven years, I have had the honor of meeting most of the program’s supporters and participants, and I am excited to bring another great coopetition to you in February 2019.
The Bayou Sales Challenge is known for its strong connection to the region because of its ties to supportive, well-regarded sponsors and volunteers. While preparing students for success in sales or related careers, top-notch coaches bring their star students to compete in our two-day role-play competition. Celebrating the talent we see each year is something I have always looked forward to because when these major pillars convene the students benefit greatly. I am honored to carry the torch for a wonderful program that enables such a unique opportunity of impact.
The 2019 competition marks the sixteenth annual Bayou Sales Challenge, and once again you will see some subtle changes that should enhance the overall competition. Whether your role is a sponsor or coach, you can expect to experience a well-run competition with the same great southern charm and comradery.
Students, coaches, and volunteers are the most valuable component to the Bayou Sales Challenge’s success. I thank each of you for the inherent commitment of making a career in sales one that it worthy of recognition.
Reach out to me should you have any questions, and cheers to this amazing opportunity to make an impact with our students.
Laura Lott Valenti
Both students and event creators are looking forward to seeing the new young talent and their inspiring methodology and ideas.
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